Photos: Chicago style

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  1. Windy City high

    A view of the Chicago skyline with Lake Michigan in the background from atop the Sears Tower Skydeck observation tower. Completed in 1973, the Sears Tower is the tallest building in the U.S. and a popular location for tourists. (Tim Boyle / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Artsy avenue

    Two lions guard the entrance to The Art Institute of Chicago along Michigan Avenue. The institute was founded in 1879 as both a museum and school. (Jeff Haynes / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Rinse and spit

    Austin Hilsmier, then 3, from Chicago, looks back at his mom as he plays in Crown Fountain at Millennium Park. (Charles Rex Arbogast / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Monumental view

    Visitors to Chicago's Millennium Park pass by the Millennium Monument. (M. Spencer Green / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. A cloud's reflection

    Tourists gather under Anish Kapoor's "Cloud Gate" sculpture in Millennium Park. (Charles Rex Arbogast / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Running the shore

    A man jogs along the Lake Michigan shoreline in Chicago. (Charles Rex Arbogast / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Great day for a stroll

    A woman pushes a baby buggy through a small playground nestled in downtown Chicago's Grant Park. (M. Spencer Green / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Bonding time

    A male trumpeter swan at Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo takes his newly hatched offspring into the swan pond for a swim. (Greg Neise / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Botanic Garden

    The Chicago Botanic Garden features 23 beautiful gardens and three native habitats set on 385 acres of rolling hills and tranquil lakes. The garden is open year-round. (CNSCVB.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Aquamarine awe

    Visitors check out the three-million gallon Oceanarium exhibit at the Shedd Aquarium. The Oceanarium is the largest indoor marine mammal facility in the world and one of the few aquariums in North America to display Pacific white-sided dolphins and beluga whales. Cutting edge innovations introduced by the Shedd over the years has helped change the experience for visitors at aquariums around the country. (Nam Y. Huh / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Preserving history

    The Evanston Historical Society, at the Charles Gates Dawes House in Evanston, Illinois. The chateauesque mansion of former U.S. vice-president Charles Gates Dawes, is three-and-a- half stories, has 25 rooms, six bedrooms, seven bathrooms and 11 fireplaces. This national historic landmark's exhibits focus on Evanston history. (CNSCVB.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Academic aerial

    Northwestern University, in Evanston, Illinois. Founded in 1851, this renowned educational institution is rich in history and architecture. (CNSCVB.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Cycling heaven

    Two cyclists pedal along Lake Michigan in Chicago, during the early morning hours. Chicago has earned the reputation as a bike friendly city. (Charles Rex Arbogast / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
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updated 1/7/2008 11:07:19 AM ET 2008-01-07T16:07:19

Book by: ASAP
Travel by: Various through winter 2008

The deal
Headed to Chicago and looking for a place to stay? Look no further. We found plenty of bargains in this Midwestern metropolis, valid for stays at centrally located properties through February. Rates now start at just $70 for a pleasant overnight right at the heart of Chinatown.

Sojourn at The Drake for only $139 a night
This waterfront Italian-Renaissance landmark has played host to countless heads of state, movie stars, and celebrities since 1920. Frommer’s writes, “If ever the term ‘grande dame’ fit a hotel, it's The Drake.” The regal 537-roomer features plush units with vintage style, period touches and a slew of mod conveniences. Facilities include the award-winning Cape Cod Room famed for its outstanding seafood and the long-favorite Coq d’Or cocktail bar. Regular nightly rates here are known to run north of $400 but you’ll pay just $139!

Stay at Allerton Hotel for $115 a night
Housed in a historic landmark building with a Renaissance-inspired façade, this downtown hotel once hosted a club residence for single men and women. These days, it’s a prime midrange hotel where, claims Fodor’s, “rooms each have a unique layout, with classic wood furnishings, dramatic floral bedspreads, and marble baths. Many also have knockout views from high above the Magnificent Mile.” Standard rates here run upward of $200/night but courtesy of Hotels.com, you can overnight here for only $115!

Overnight at ChinaTown Hotel for $70 a night
At this Chinatown budget hotel, the 52 rooms come with a simple but pleasant décor, en-suite bathrooms and perks such as high-speed Internet access. There’s also a bevy of Chinese TV channels on the satellite TV, if you want to practice your Mandarin. Plus, you’ll be in a great location, close to downtown Chicago, four blocks from McCormick Place and steps away from the city’s best Chinese restaurants. Don’t expect any frills but at the low rate that we found on Hotels.com — $70/night — who would expect any?

The dollars
See nightly rates above, based on double occupancy.

The catch
Winters are freezing in the Windy City so pack accordingly.

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